Are CEREC crowns cheap because they are quick?

I am suffering from a toothache that is similar to one I had about a year ago. To fix it then, I ended up getting a root canal and a crown. The process took three appointments: one for the actual root canal, one to go back and get my crown, and one more to make an adjustment on the crown. I’m pretty sure that I may end up getting a root canal and crown again. I have noticed signs for “Crowns in a day.” One appointment instead of three sounds great. I’m worried, though, that it’s going to be a cheap crown that won’t last. Usually, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Should I avoid these quick-crown dentists?

Shelby, Richardson, TX

Dear Shelby,

It’s natural to question the value of something done quickly. In many instances, “fast” does cause you to consider quality. For example, if your home is built too quickly, you may question whether the builders did their best work.

How are CEREC crowns made so quickly?

In the case of the “Crowns in a day,” or CEREC crowns, the quality isn’t questioned because it is done quickly. The reason they are able to do it in a day is because they mill the crown in their office. Using computer programs, the dentist is able to match the colors and the shape of your tooth, and to make the crown while you are in his chair.

Crown going over prepared tooth after root canalWhen the dentist is finished with your root canal, the crown can be fitted and you go home with it. By having a CEREC machine in the office, it cuts out the steps of sending off your crown specs to a different ceramist to create it and waiting for it to come back to the dentist to place over your tooth.

With that said, the quality of CEREC crowns isn’t undermined by the time spent to create them, but possibly by the dentist behind it. Any dentist can have a crown-making machine in their office. That doesn’t automatically mean they are a master at using it. It takes training and experience to be able to create a crown that is going to match with your other teeth in shape and color, and look as natural as possible. So before just going to any CEREC crown dentist, do your homework. Go to the dentist’s office and look at examples their work so you can get the best results possible.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Ryan Perry in Baton Rouge, LA.

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